Reply Hi Katie, I thought this article was very good and it really makes me think about what we admire in little girls, I think we need to have a balance in how much emphasis we put on how they look. I usually don’t go on about looks to my 2 nieces, but in the future I’m going to be more cunning with steering the conversation.
And you’re right about the dieting/weight issue, my nieces are 4 and 6 and both are troubled by this!
Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. The recently named Bloom one of the top five celebrity attorneys in Los Angeles. I think telling kids they picked a great outfit or have great taste is unisex. (This next part isn’t in direct reply to your comment…) I loved the article and think it makes a great point! There’s a world of difference between “You’re so cute!
A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. Her eyes got bigger, and the practiced, polite facial expression gave way to genuine excitement over this topic. An Alternative Perspective: How to Raise Little Girls Who Love Their Looks Femimommy Blog Lately, I’ve been telling my daughter when she comes up with a cool outfit. ” and “Those are great shoes” when a kid is clearly excited to be walking around in silver boots.
As a parent, we could help by introducing our child by name and an interest.
For example, “This is Amelia and she loves drawing different animals and plants.” or “This is Nikita and she loves doing puzzles.” This would then prompt the person to delve deeper or provide a general comment about the particular interest, rather than appearance which is an easy default. It reinforces to our child(ren) that we recognize and honor their interest as well as encourages the adult (or kid for that matter) to engage them.
Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. Here’s to changing the world, one little girl at a time.
In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s next top model than the Nobel Peace Prize. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she runs her law firm, The Bloom Firm.I will not ignore their “cuteness” but I will not allow it to take center stage over more enduring and relevant attributes.Reply Thank you for this practical extension ‘how-to’ which will make it easier for adults to talk with children.It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. She paused, though, a little shy of me, a stranger. But, I think it’s important because she dresses for her own satisfaction, and not any particular style that I can discern. She has shirts with peace signs on them, and of course ones with horses. It’s just something she occasionally makes an effort to do. That being said, I agree that it shouldn’t be the first or only topic of conversation. ” and follow it up with “What have you learned recently?As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments. I’m much happier when she makes it over the higher jump on a horse. ” Reply That’s the important thing, I think: complimenting where compliments are due. As Lisa alluded to in the article, the problems come when only one aspect of a personality is ever praised – and also if it’s only praise that is ever received.That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows. So if a girl (or a boy, for that matter) looks good, tell them so. There’s a fine line between being encouraging and being blind to any faults.“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.” “Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice. Reply I think a critically important point in the article is that the author restrained herself from making her first comment (and compliment) appearance based. I told her my favorite color in the world is green, because I love nature, and she was down with that. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. A daily fixture on American television for the last decade, Bloom is currently the CBS News legal analyst, appearing frequently on The Early Show and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, as well as the legal analyst for The Dr. Bloom appears regularly on CNN and HLN prime time shows such as Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell, The Joy Behar Show, Anderson Cooper 360, and The Situation Room. But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. Lisa Bloom, author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World, is an award-winning journalist, legal analyst, trial attorney, and the daughter of renowned women’s rights attorney, Gloria Allred.I wish I’d never read a Teen magazine, and instead enjoyed my youth. Reply Maybe you could gently guide the adult to a new way to interact with any child, really, by asking your girls to tell the person what their reading now or about a subject that interests your girls.Reply I just *loved* this post, and I have young daughters – oh how I wish every person who met them was a savvy about little girls as you. I think some adults just don’t know what to say to kids. I agree that there are many adults who just don’t know what else to say, particularly if they don’t have children of their own.